LAS VEGAS -- Most of us can only imagine what the United States’ women’s soccer team is feeling now after winning the World Cup with a 2-0 win over the Netherlands.
And then there’s Boston Celtics assistant coach Kara Lawson who was an integral part of the 2008 Olympic gold medal-winning US women’s basketball team.
Being the last team standing on such a global platform is a feeling few can fully comprehend, and even fewer will experience.
Count Lawson among the fortunate.
“It’s incredible,” Lawson told NBC Sports Boston. “People say the phrase ‘top of the world’ all the time. Most of the time they’re not top of the world. Here’s actually where that phrase applies; it’s an amazing feeling.”
Lawson said winning a global championship like the World Cup or an Olympic Gold medal is about more than being the best team during that period of time.
“It’s an incredible validation of so many things when you get a chance to be part of a world championship team,” Lawson said. “Validation of your path, your upbringing, who helped you get there. validation of the work and time you put in to do that.
Lawson added, “And then, it’s really validation of your group because forever, you’re that. It’s validation of that group together. So, that feeling, coming from so many different levels of your life individually, as an athlete, life as a group … it’s overwhelming. That’s why you see so many people overcome with emotions because it’s all those things crashing at one time.”
Lawson, who scored a team-high 15 points in Team USA’s gold medal victory over Australia in the 2008 Olympics, has also won a WNBA title (Sacramento, 2005).
“They’re different,” Lawson said when asked about being part of both championship teams.
“It’s so difficult to make the Olympic team,” Lawson said. “You know, it’s difficult to make the WNBA but it’s even harder to make it to that next one.”
Lawson also pointed out how winning a championship offers a moment to reflect, at least how it relates to women’s basketball, to embrace being part of a legacy.
“When you look at the run that we (Team USA women’s basketball team) are currently on; I can see we because I’m part of that ... we’ve won like six straight Olympics," Lawson said. "To feel that, to be part of that, that’s what was most satisfying to me, to see the people who had done it before, to know that you’re name is with them.”
It is a feeling that most of us can only imagine.
And then there’s the women’s soccer team that’s living in that moment as we speak, following a thrilling run towards a second straight World Cup.
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